Little troubles are really not so bad - for someone else.
Sholom AleichemWhat does a man need in order to be happy? Only that his business should be just a little bit better than he himself.
A. ArbuzovAwareness of the wonderful that was within grasp comes too late.
A. BlokHappiness is when they understand you, but you, yourself, don’t understand it.
Contemporary SayingIf you feel happy for over one day, that means that something is being hidden from you.
Contemporary SayingHappiness begins with the hatred for misfortune, with the physiological distaste for everything that warps and cripples people, with an inner loathing for everything that groans, wails, and yearns for the tinseled well-being that is being increasingly assailed by the tempest of history.
M. GorkyComplete happiness doesn’t mix with anxiety; complete happiness is as tranquil as the sea in the summer’s calm.
A. HerzenIt isn’t worth the trouble to fear our own fate,
So, it isn’t worth the trouble to pretend that we are happy.
B. OkudjavaThey say misfortune is a good school. Perhaps, so. But good fortune is the best of universities.
A. PushkinIf, as it is claimed by the humanitarians, man was born only to be happy, then, then he would not have been born to die as well.
A. SolzhenitsynPeople with great and beautiful souls are always serene and satisfied; people with worthless souls are all dissatisfied and sad.
L. TolstoyBoth that which we call happiness, as well as that which we call unhappiness, are equally useful to us if we look upon the first and the second as upon the trial.
L. TolstoyA man is obligated to be happy; if he is unhappy - he is guilty.
L. TolstoyTo be happy one must first have faith that happiness is possible.
L. TolstoyHappiness is pleasure without remorse.
L. TolstoyTo do what you want is not happiness. Happiness is to want what you do.
L. TolstoyHappiness is like health: you have it if you don’t feel its absence.
I. TurgenevEach little roof,
No matter how steep,
Hides its own happiness,
its own fate,
its own treats.
I. UtkinHe is indeed a happy man who reconciles himself with his present circumstances.
N. GogolPeople are unhappy because they don’t know that they are happy.
F. DostoevskyPeople are unhappy only because they don’t realize that they are happy.
F. DostoevkyBliss and envy are the nominator and the denominator of the fraction called happiness.
The scorn of death prolongs life.
A. BogomoletzSports is the physical culture driven to the absurd.
Contemporary SayingA healthy man is the most earthly man.
F. DostoevskyIf I ever fall ill
I will shun the doctors for certain
I will say to my friends:
Take me away. Far:
in the steppeland make me a bed
With misty fog hung around like a curtain
And light me an evening star overhead as a lamp..
Y. SmelyakovEveryone says that health is the most dear thing in life but noone abides by this.
L. TolstoyHappiness is like health: you have it if you don’t feel its absence.
Noone at all interested in the study of history could have failed to notice that there was always some great material interest at the bottom of the most abstract, the most sublime, idealistic, theological, and religious struggles.
M. BakuninThe history of any nation is not only a succession of events, but also a chain of ideas.
P. ChaadaevIt is impossible to know the true sense of the present and the aims of the future unless you know the past.
M. GorkyMan’s consciousness not only reflects the objective world, but creates it.
V. LeninHistorians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that noone asks them.
L. TolstoyI would choose this epigraph to history: “Conceal Nothing!” It is not enough to avoid direct lies; try not to lie negatively, by omission.
L. TolstoyIt is quite clear: the whole human history, to the extent that we know it, is a history of a shift from the nomadic forms of life to the more and more settled ones. Doesn’t it follow then, that the more settled form of life is also the more perfected one? If people used to rush about from one end of the earth to another, then, it was only in the prehistoric times, when there were nations, wars, trades, discoveries ofvarious Americas. But now, who needs all of that now?!
Emigration is something like going to your own funeral, the only difference being that after your funeral your nervous system calms down.
V. AksyonovThank you, God, that I am in this land a stranger!
I don’t blame anyone at all in this matter
And I easily breath that I parted with noone!you, God! I no longer have a homeland!
J. BrodskyIt is not that the grass is greener on the other side, but, rather, that the grass is not green at all where we are.
Contemporary SayingEvery frog sings in its own swamp.
ProverbYour own grief is dearer than someone else’s joy.
ProverbYour own shirt is always warmer.
Hope is a liar.
Sholom AleichemDay will come and the great will occur,
I can sense in the future, soul’s passionate feat.
A. BlokIs it really necessary to give hope if they are not asking for it.
Contemporary SayingIt doesn’t matter, we’ve known all along,
is some rowdiness, some gunfire.
But, don’t you stop trying, Maestro,
Don’t take away your hand from your brow.
B. OkudjavaGabriel blowing into his horn sends his word not to us but to those marching instead of us.
V. ShklovskyI hope constantly, I desire a lot, I expect little.
Do you know that centuries will pass, and mankind will proclaim with its mouth of wisdom and science that there is no such thing as crime, and, therefore, no such thing as sin, but there are only the hungry?
F. DostoevskyHunger kicks even the wolf out of the forest.
ProverbIf you go without dinner, pillow under your head will quiver.
ProverbA hungry belly is deaf to a wise advice.
ProverbA belly is no sack, don’t stuff it for tomorrow.
ProverbBread tames even the wildest beasts.
ProverbHorseradish is no sweeter than radish.
Donuts in a dream are not donuts, but a dream.
Sholom AleichemWhen dreams come true, we always become a bit sad.
A. ArbuzovI never dreamt or wished for miracles,
And, you, as well, forget about them.
A. BlokWhile a man enjoys a splash that a pike makes, he is a poet; when, however, he knows that this splash is nothing more than a chase of the stronger after the weaker, he is a philosopher; but when he doesn’t understand the purpose of the chase, and why an equilibrium which is reached through destruction is needed, then, he is dumb and stupid again, as in his childhood. And the more he doesn’t understand this, the dumber he is.
A. ChekhovReality keeps asserting the opposite.
Contemporary SayingThe higher a man’s outlook, the less he sees under his own feet.
Contemporary SayingIn order to fall in love with a human being, the latter needs to hide, for as soon as he reveals his face - gone is love.
F. DostoevskyBeggars, especially the noble beggars, should have never revealed their faces. They should have always asked for charity hidden behind newspapers.
F. DostoevskyPrecisely because we keep awake and live during the daytime, we associate all kinds of miracles and mysteries with the night. Precisely because the majority of the poets happened to be men, a woman turned into a mysterious object of contemplation. Meanwhile, Adam is no less riddlesome than Eve.
S. LevinThe most important thing about a donut is its hole, because after you eat a donut, nothing’s left of it, while a hole stays forever.
O. MandelshtamI do not believe in flowery Niece, once again, I sing glory,
To men who are worn out like hospital sheets,
ragged up like a trite old story.
V. MayakovskyWhen looking at the sun, squint your eyes, and you will readily recognize spots upon it.
K. PrutkovSometimes, words typed in italics are many, many times more unjust than those that are typed in regular print.
K. PrutkovWhere are those lime trees under which I grew up? There are no such lime trees and there have never been.
V. ShklovskyLight will always be light, although a blind man doesn’t see it.
L. TolstoyIf a bird runs around on its feet, that doesn’t prove that it is against its nature to fly.
L. TolstoyNever will a writer invent anything more beautiful than the truth.
Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.
A. ChekhovBeware of indifference, for it is deadly for the soul.
M. GorkyLife is so devilishly artful that lacking the ability of hating, neither can one love.
M. GorkyNothing is more dangerous than a man for whom the human is foreign.
People who are disallowed the most, are people of independent, original thought, people who don’t fit into any usual, routine categories.
N. BerdyaevEvery single man is world-scale by his nature.
N. BerdyaevYou’d be satisfied with yourself and your wife,
And serve your ragged constitution,
But, you see, poets have a different sort of life,
And for them, there are never enough constitutions.
A. BlokI’m not taken with others’ satisfaction,
It’s only a jest in a noble direction.
I’m taken with inner perfection,
Midnight - half-a-bottle - lyre.
For me, trees are worth much more than forests,
I don’t have any common interest,
But the speed of inner progress
Is faster than the speed of the universe.
J. BrodskyIf an individual agrees with everybody, he lacks conviction; if he likes everybody and is everybody’s friend, he is indifferent to one and all.
N. DobrolyubovIs the world to go to pot, or am I to have my tea? I say that the world can go to pot, as long as I get my tea.
F. DostoevskyA canary with someone else’s voice
Is a pitiful and funny trinket.
World needs a melodic song,
So, sing your own way, even as a cricket.
S. EseninEccentrics adorn life.
M. GorkyBe it a little mind but be it your own.
M. GorkyOne cannot live in society and be free from society.
V. LeninA tree - that’s a true miracle, but a forest is merely a mirage.
S. LevinEach man is like a letter in an alphabet: in order to form a word, he needs to unite the others.
O. MandelshtamIndividualism is emphasized weakness.
M. PrishvinIt is better to sing your own song even if you are a quail, than to pretend that you’re a nightingale.
ProverbNo ideas, no love, no forgiveness, no harmony, in brief, nothing that sages have devised from ancient to modern times can justify the nonsense and absurdity in the fate of an individual person.
L. ShestovThe willful God of the Bible created this world, as they say, according to His own image; but this is said only of Adam. Besides him, there also exist ants, elephants, giraffes. They are not alike. But let’s not get angry at that! People are also not alike!
V. ShklovskyStern people do not recognize the great voice of their time. Echo returns it to them in an exalted state.
V. ShklovskyBasically, an outstanding person, a person of greatness, a person with rare and unexpected initiatives cannot let himself be known; there would instantly be thousands of traps set up against him. Thus, mediocrity rules under the mask of democratic restraints.
A. SolzhenitsynThe individual is inconceivable outside society.
L. TolstoyEvery person knows that he must do what unites and not divides him and other people.
L. TolstoyMan is born to live by his own mind.
L. TolstoyThere are no prophets in one’s homeland,
And other homelands aren’t rich with them, alas!
V. VysotskyIn ancient times, Christians understood this: humility is a virtue and pride is a vice; “We” is from God, whereas, “I” is from the devil.
The real “Jewish question” is this : from what can a Jew make a living?
Sholom AleichemThough Passover comes but once a year, Jews ask questions all year long.
Sholom AleichemI went through a pogrom when I was a child and survived. But they twisted the head off of my dove. Why?
I. Babel- What has a Jew studied? -
- Bible -
- What does a Jew seek?
- Joy -
I. BabelPerhaps the saddest thing to admit is that those who rejected the Cross have to carry it, while those who welcomed it so often engaged in crucifying others.
N. BerdyaevIn respect of polarization and inconsistency, the Russian people can be paralleled only by the Jews; and it is not a matter of chance that precisely in these two people there exists a vigorous messianic consciousness.
N. BerdyaevAll, but the Yids.
Catherine The GreatFor everything Jews are here to blame,
(From a Bill of Civil Rights)
For liveliness, cleverness, spark.
For a Jewess who tried our Lenin to maim,
For the fact that she missed her mark.
Contemporary SayingSooner or later in the life of every Jew, there comes a moment when he is hit by a dim concept: that he is Jewish.
N. DjinContradictions inherent in the world culture - indeed, throughout history - are but a private argument between four consecutive Jewish sages who slid their gaze down the symbolic figure of man: the law-giver Moses deemed the brain most important; Christ, that prophet of love, chose the heart; the economist Marx, the stomach, and the psychologist Freud, ventured lower. Along came the fifth, Einstein, who inferred “in confusion” that all is one through relativity.
N. DjinEveryone is a Jew. Only some people have admitted to it, and others have not.
M. SvetlovJudaism experienced the tragic fate of King Lear!
S. DubnovJewish nation has a strange fate; even when people talk about the Jews, they do so differently than when they talk about any other nation! In all of the wide-range literature dedicated to the Jewish question, there reigns a sort of strange, rather romantic overtone, instead of a serious one.
A. IdelsonThe Jewish bourgeoisie are our enemies, not as Jews but as bourgeoisie.
V. LeninThe unifying fate of all the Jews makes them a realistic group.
S. LevinIt is easier to imagine a Jew without an exile than an exile without a Jew.
S. LevinThe only Czechoslovaks are the Jews: the rest are either Czechs or Slovaks.
S. LevinI apologize for the pogroms, but they help sustain discipline in the army.
S. PetlyuraAntisemitism is a psychosis, and like any other psychosis, it is hereditary and incurable.
L. PinskerJews are chosen by universal hatred.
L. PinskerBeat the Yids! Save Russia!
SloganIn those old, wild, barbarous days, when neither life nor death of anyone counted for anything, Rabbi Akiba openly condemned capital punishment, a practice recognized today as highly uncivilized.
L. Tolstoy“Love the stranger and the sojourner”, says Moses, “because you have been strangers in the land of Egypt.” And this was said in those remote, savage times when the chief ambition of races and nations consisted in crushing and enslaving one another.
L. TolstoyNot long ago, I was reading a Sermon From the Mount together with one rabbi. Almost after every verse, he would stop and point out to me similar passages in the Old Testament or the Talmud. When, however, we got to the words: “Don’t resist evil”, he, instead of his usual: “we have that in the Talmud also”, asked me with a smile: “Do Christians obey this commandment?” I did not say anything in response, for, namely in those days, Christians, being far from the idea of turning the other cheek, were slapping the Jews across both cheeks.
L. TolstoyOnly when the Jewish nation frees the Land of Israel, will the land of Israel free the Jewish nation.
M. UsyshkinLet the “International” thunder its might
when will be buried the last antisemite.
No Jewish blood my veins rushes through,
But I am hated with an encrusted passion,
By all antisemites, as if I were a Jew,
and because of that I am a genuine Russian.
A joyful man is always right.
I. Babel- What has a Jew studied? -
- Bible -
-What does a Jew seek? -
- Joy -
I. BabelLet us rejoice at only that which is good!
Contemporary SayingHow superficial became the sense of deep satisfaction!
Contemporary SayingHe is the most joyful man who is able to lie to himself better than the rest.
F. DostoevskyJoy must be forgotten, sadness never.
M. LermontovIt isn’t much equipped for merriment,
joy from the grips of a future day.
V. MayakovskyPour laughter from one pair of eyes
Decorate black nights with white
And cast joy from one flesh
to the other.
V. MayakovskyLife must be and can be an unceasing joy.
L. TolstoyIf you do not conceive of life as a tremendous joy, this is solely due to your mind being on the wrong track.
L. TolstoyStrange that joy sometimes resembles grief, and sad that grief never resembles joy.
Criticism would, of course, be a terrible weapon if, fortunately, it were not itself subject to criticism.
V. BelinskyMan feels better when you show him what he is really like.
A. ChekhovExcept for being born, he wasn’t accused of anything blameworthy.
Contemporary SayingIf you keep saying that he is a swine, he will finally grunt like one.
M. GorkyThe truth is above pity.
M. GorkyAnd who is to judge?!
A. GriboedovBe hard on yourself if you don’t want others to be hard on you.
L. LeonovYou won’t escape people’s judgment,
Just as you won’t escape the judgment of God.
A. PushkinIf I had enough paint, I would make everyone tainted.
ProverbOur misfortune is that we consider other people’s vices as our own virtues.
M. SvetlovA man stops criticizing others as soon as he conquers himself.
L. TolstoyHe who has much knowledge knows how cautious one must be to avoid error in expressing judgment. It is the superficial dabbler who judges all things with extraordinary audacity.
L. TolstoyOnly he who loves may scold or censor.
One is angry because he is doing badly , another - because his neighbor is doing well.
I. BabelWhen it is impossible to be proud of one’s victories, people begin to take pride in others’ defeats.
Contemporary SayingIf someone hits you on the face, offer him another one.
Contemporary SayingOne is able to feel for a common misfortune only if one also feels for a particular misfortune of a particular person.
F. DzerzhinskySometimes people talk about the “beastly” cruelty of man, but this is awfully unjust and offensive to the beasts; no beast can ever be as cruel as man, as artfully, artistically cruel.
F. DostoevskyI an happy that I have kissed women,
Clutched wild flowers and in deep grass lain,
And that beasts who are our younger brothers,
I have never beaten, never slain.
S. EseninThe kind man is not he who is capable of doing good, but he who is incapable of doing evil.
V. KlyuchevskySome people turn into swine the minute they are treated like people.
V. KlyuchevskyDo you hear?!
Even the useless
We mustn’t, we mustn’t
Dig the graves
V. MayakovskyDon’t ever, ever close your door,
But let the door stay open.
B. OkudjavaAs soon as you load the guns
Everyone would want to shoot.
B. OkudjavaCruel people do not recognize the voice of their own time. Echo returns it to them in an exalted state.
V. ShklovskyIt is easy to be cruel. You only need not to love.
V. ShklovskyDon’t be too hasty to punish, be hasty to forgive.
L. TolstoyKindness is for the soul what health is for the body; it is inconspicuous when you have it and it brings success to every undertaking.
L. TolstoyIn order to believe in kindness one must first do kind deeds.
L. TolstoyKindness by order is no kindness.
I. TurgenevIf you give everyone the right of way, you won’t get very far.
Boundless, indeed, is this earth,
B. AkhmadulinaMen make mistakes not because they think they know when they do not know, but because they think others do not know.
Sholom AleichemThe way to fight with your faults is not to notice them, stand above, and, perhaps, a bit to the side of them.
Contemporary SayingFeelings precede knowledge; those who have not felt the truth haven’t understood or known her.
V. BelinskyDon’t hope to get the final answer,
You’ll never find it in this life.
A. BlokNever brag of ignorance: ignorance is impotence.
N. ChernyshevskyWe don’t know everything, but that’s not everything.
Contemporary SayingIt is not enough to merely open man’s eyes. It is also necessary to turn on the light.
Contemporary SayingTell me who I am, and it will be clear to me who you are.
Contemporary SayingA narrow specialist finds out more and more about less and less, and so it goes until he knows everything about nothing and nothing about everything.
Contemporary SayingSome observe, others see.
Contemporary SayingYou can’t possibly know everything, but you can always guess anything.
Contemporary SayingAt last, I found myself, but that turned out to be a completely different person.
Contemporary SayingThe face is blurred
Seen eye to eye.
The great is only visible
S. EseninThe best thing one can do before the coming of the Great Flood is to learn how to live under water.
JokeThey say that darkness is the absence of light. But in perfect light one sees just as little as in perfect darkness.
V. LeninIf you want to make sure
that the earth is round,
Sit on your ass
V. MayakovskyI am sufficiently proud of my knowing something to be modest about my not knowing everything.
V. NabokovIt is easier to find out a lot about many than little about one.
S. ObraztsovDon’t ask a blind man to point you the way.
ProverbNoone can embrace the boundless.
K. PrutkovMany things are incomprehensible to us not because our comprehension is weak, but because those things are not within the frames of our comprehension.
K. PrutkovThe sky, it cannot see its blue expanse.
The radiant, ice-capped mountain has no chance
To see how regally it towers,
Nor can their beauty see the flowers.
S. SchipachevOn a day when the sun rises, there is no need to remind the flowers to bloom.
V. ShklovskyEverything visible to us is only a flash of what cannot be visible to the eye.
V. SolovyevWithout knowing what I am, and why I am here, life is impossible.
L. TolstoyThe only thing that we know is that we know nothing, and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.
L. TolstoyLight will always be light, although a blind man doesn’t see it.
L. TolstoyIf there is a church, then, it could not be visible to those who are inside it.
L. TolstoyHe who knows his own self better than the rest, respects himself the least.
L. TolstoyJust as it is impossible to approach an object from all of its angles at the same time, it is also impossible to understand the events in life from all of their angles.
L. TolstoyAnd they, they stretch out their necks,
And on their tippy-toes they stand.
In order to see further into life,
Just look over everybody’s necks.
V. VysotskyThere is no sense in science or in thought,
When everywhere you look, life contradicts them.
Every fool has enough reasons to be sad, and only a wiseman tears through the curtain of existence with laughter.
I. BabelWhen you laugh at yourself, you always find many like-minded people.
Contemporary SayingIf a man did not get offended at your joke, that means that he has a sense of humor. If, however, he did get offended, that means that he understood the joke.
Contemporary JokeHe laughs the best who did not understand what other people are laughing at.
Contemporary SayingIf humor wasn’t understood, then, most probably, it is satire.
Contemporary SayingLaughter is a characteristic quality of man; so is laughter with no reason.
Contemporary SayingThere is only one step from laughter to tears; that’s why nothing is ever funny, although it could be.
Contemporary SayingHe laughs the best who laughs the last, says the proverb. Yes, but the last one, somehow, never has the time to laugh.
Contemporary SayingIf a man laughs, he is good.
F. DostoevskyWisdom consists not in the search for wisdom, but in the search for laughter. Precisely in the search, for, unlike sadness, laughter does not lie on the surface, althougth eiither everything in this world is already funny or it will become such.
N. DjinI am suspicious of people who are always gloomy and gray: either they are concealing something or they have an eternally upset stomach.
A. HerzenThe happiest laughter is when you laugh at someone who laughs at you.
V. KlyuchevskyLaughter is the greatest nurse.
A. LunacharskyTo continue laughing is easier than to stop the laughter.
K. PrutkovTo fear laughter is to dread the truth.